Use Mentor Texts to Write Chapter Books
I asked Vicky Fang to share the story of how she used mentor texts—how she studied her favorite chapter books from Scholastic Branches—to learn how to write a chapter book series that later sold to Scholastic Branches. And I am thrilled that she agreed to share her experience. To thank Vicky, I'll be giving away one of her chapter books at the end of this post. You can learn more about Vicky's background and her early journey here.
Without any further ado, here's Vicky. I hope you'll come away with this video inspired to go after whatever it is you want to create, whether that's chapter books or something else.
What I Learned From Vicky About Using Mentor Texts:
- Study a lot of different books. Vicky studied books from varied age groups about different subjects, not just the age group and subject she planned planned to write.
- If you want to write for a certain publishing imprint, study their books. I love that Vicky's agent ended up selling her Layla and the Bots series to Scholastic Branches. Talk about a perfect ending to a story!
- Look at mentor texts to see how how many pages and what kind of subject matter work for the age you want to write books for. And make sure you're using current books, not old ones.
- Write what you know. When I interviewed Vicky for the blog a few years ago, she talked about being a designer for Google. Here's an excerpt from what Vicky said in that interview: I’ve been an interaction designer in technology for over 10 years, designing tons of cool projects—like interactive buildings, or robots you can make at home, or games you can play with your voice. For the last 5 years, I’ve been designing experiences for kids, often with STEM goals in mind.
Chapter Book Giveaway
Now it's your turn to share what you've learned. Share something you’ve learned from Vicky in a comment, and I’ll enter you to win your choice of a copy of one of Vicky's Layla and the Bots chapter books. This giveaway will close on September 30th at midnight, PDT. You can share this post on social media for extra entries. Just post a link (or let me know) in a comment below.